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BE A GRANDMOTHER? WHY WOULD I WANT TO?

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by Alison Hogan

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Just when you thought you knew it all ... comes word from the experts on baby feeding: most mothers and mothers-to-be "are seriously uninformed about five basic infant nutritional practices."

Here are five statements The Institute of Pediatric Nutrition presented to 323 women nationwide (only five percent of moms and expectant moms got a perfect score): Cow's milk should not be introduced when the baby starts eating solids. Fruit juice is not a nutritionally important part of the infant's diet. A breastfeeding mother with a low milk supply does not have to immediately switch to formula. Iron-fortified formulas do not cause fussiness and constipation. Milk allergies are not the primary cause of frequent spitting up among infants. Disagree with any of these points? The Institute of Pediatric Nutrition explains: Cow's milk is low in nutrients needed for development in the first year. Fruit juice does not supply the nutrients needed to support the rapid growth periods of infancy and can spoil the baby's appetite for either breast milk or iron-fortified formula, which do supply these nutrients. Breastfeeding offers the best nutrition for an infant, and a health care professional can usually suggest ways to continue breastfeeding while monitoring growth and development, even when there is concern about a low milk supply. Switching to the routine use of low-iron formulas can lead to iron-deficiency anemia and put an infant at risk for impaired brain development. Confusion about what causes spitting up can result in premature discontinuation of breastfeeding and unnecessary formula switches. Whenever possible, the Institute (interestingly, an organization sponsored by Similac formula) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first four to six months, and then breastfeeding and solids throughout the rest of the first year. The Institute also warns that an iron-fortified infant formula is the only appropriate substitute for breast milk, because formulas low in iron can put infants at risk for anemia, iron deficiency, and impaired development. Parents can receive free information on pediatric nutrition by calling the Institute's toll-free number: 1-800-721-5BABY.

1 - Alison Hogan

Fat Intake Linked to Pregnancy Nausea Severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is nothing new. But doctors now have a clue as to what may trigger the problem. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts say that eating a diet high in saturated fat prior to becoming pregnant may be causing excessive vomiting during pregnancy.

The researchers, who published their recent findings in the journal Epidemiology, studied 87 women who had little nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. They then compared them to 44 women who were so ill during their pregnancies that they had to be hospitalized. The researchers found that those with the vomiting condition had diets significantly higher in saturated fat before they became pregnant. In fact, the researchers calculated that for each additional 15 grams of saturated fat consumed each day, the women had a five-fold higher incidence of developing severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Think of it this way: a quarter- pound cheeseburger contains about 15 grams of saturated fat.

Interestingly, it was only saturated fat that had an effect. The amount of other fats eaten by the women, such as monounsaturated fat (the kind found in olive oil) or polyunsaturated fat (the kind found in corn oil and other vegetable oils), had no effect on their risk of developing severe vomiting and nausea during pregnancy.

Better cancer news Women are surviving cancer longer than their mothers did, according to the National Cancer Institute. For women who had tumors that didn't spread, average survival time increased from 8.5 years to almost 12 years. The improved outlook probably has something to do with better and earlier detection of breast cancer and more women having chemotherapy and radiation treatments along with surgery.

If you're a cancer survivor, there's a catalog just for you. "Magic & Vanity", a Chicago-based boutique especially for female cancer survivors and patients launched the catalog featuring many of the items found in its store to help women find the special clothes they need no matter where they live. The 16-page catalog guides readers through the sensitive process of fitting and selecting breast forms and bras. It includes clothing, hats and scarves, swim and sunwear and casual clothing. To be placed on the mailing list, call toll-free: 1-888-392-0092.


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